Saturday, April 30, 2011

The City...Alone

Well, when I say alone, I mean just Megan, Luke and me!  I think Steve was a little apprehensive to allow me to roam the city without his expertise, following the recent 'Metro didn't stop at our station' episode.  But Luke was dying to visit the National Zoo, Megan was interested in going along with the plan, and nobody else wanted to go.  I jumped out of Steve's van at the zoo entrance with full confidence I would do just fine in the city alone.

After visiting Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City for the last few years where the animal population has severely dropped, I had high expectations for the National Zoo.  I was somewhat disappointed.  Where exactly do the animals at zoos live?

(Perhaps I will one day consider a career change to a zoo-keeper in hopes of actually seeing some zoo animals.  On second thoughts, I really don't like animals, so it may not be a reality.)

The kids were absolutely thrilled with the free piggy banks Capital One Bank was giving out at a vendor booth at the zoo.  Complete with stickers and jewels to decorate the piggy banks with, we left with four! (The generous lady said, 'Take as many as you'd like."  Fortunately I convinced Luke that Drew really didn't care if we brought him one home or no, so we only had to squeeze four, rather than five into our bag!)

I'm sure all the security guards at the x-ray machines later in the day, found the tourist bag with four awkward sized piggy banks squeezed in, an interesting tourist necessity.  (We won't even mention the efforts it took to fit them into our bags to fly across the country the next day)  Just what I always pictured Washington DC souvenir highlights would be--a free gift from a bank marketing ploy.

And now look, I've talked more about the free piggy banks than the National Zoo!  That's kind of how the zoo was--with the exception of seeing a Panda bear, and getting this great shot, the zoo wasn't exactly my favorite part of my Washington DC trip.  But Luke loved it and Megan tolerated it, so it was worth the visit.

I have to say with the exception of getting a slight case of vertigo on this very tall escalator, our travels with the Washington DC Metro (including have to switch lines) went extremely well.

We enjoyed eating ice cream from the street vendors, even if I could probably have paid for our flight to DC with the amount of money I spent on the ice cream.  We won't mention that Megan, in an attempt to eat her Spongebob ice cream as humanely as possible, ended up with Spongebob, making a crash landing onto the sweltering DC sidewalk.

Steve called me during the afternoon, to see if we wanted him to come and pick him us up so we could visit the National Cathedral with the rest of the clan.  I asked my kids what they wanted to do, and they both answered the question before I even finished asking it.  Unanimously, we decided that the drive-by the National Cathedral on our way to church the day before was enough for this trip!

We enjoyed a second visit to the Air and Space Museum with far less people and much lower inside temperature than the previous time.  We were each touched at the Holocaust Museum with the children's exhibit, 'Daniel's Story.'  We dutifully visited the National Archives, as we knew we couldn't possibly come up with a suitable explanation to give Laurie & Steve if we didn't.  Of course the old documents were quite grand to see, but I don't think Luke and I appreciated them as we should have...

With the high temperatures outside, and even higher humidity we refreshed by the fountains in the Sculpture Garden before exploring more of the city sites.

Later that evening, the day ended with Luke insisting on joining the throngs of tourists capturing this shot:

Then we watched the sunset over the Lincoln Memorial.

All in all, I did a grand job finding my way around the city of Washington DC!
(Well-if you don't count the four-six security/police officers around the city that  I had to ask to find the Metro Station to return home at the end of the day.  But really, no one but Megan, Luke and me really need to know that...)


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